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SOS Children celebrates 50 years in Ecuador

SOS Children celebrates 50 years in Ecuador

This year, SOS Children celebrates 50 years of working in the South American country of Ecuador. Earlier this month, children from all our Children’s Villages, SOS mothers past and present, SOS staff, and child protection workers joined together with figures from government and representatives from other NGOs to mark this milestone.

A children’s music group welcomed the 140 guests as they arrived at the Julio Alemán Hall in the Ecuadorian capital of Quito on 15th July. Present at the event was María del Carmen Egas, who in 1963 was the first child to be taken into care by SOS Children in Ecuador.

Heinrich Müller, former Continental Director of SOS Children in Latin and South America, welcomed local figures to the evening’s events: “SOS Children’s Villages Ecuador has always maintained a strong relationship with civil society and local authorities.”

Pablo Ponce, representative of the Quito area, awarded a special merit badge to SOS Children as a mark of thanks for their work in the country over the last half-century.

SOS Children’s National Director in Ecuador, Jerry Bustillos, acknowledged the important work of SOS mothers, whose devotion is essential in providing lone children with a caring family life. He also presented an award of distinction to Vicente Remache, who has worked for SOS Children for 34 years and whose commitment and determination was instrumental in ensuring our success in Ecuador.

SOS Children in Ecuador

Life has improved considerably for some Ecuadorians in recent decades, thanks to poverty reduction initiatives put in place by the government. In 2005, a quarter of the population lived on less than $2 per day. As little as two years later, this figure had dropped to 18%.

Nevertheless, long-term poverty is a reality for many people, particularly in rural parts. Many people lack basic sanitation, electricity and food. A quarter of the population live in shacks, while poverty is widespread in urban ghettos. In the city, young children are forced to work to survive. Some make a living picking rubbish out of landfill and reselling it.

In the capital, Quito, these problems are particularly severe. Here, SOS Children offers support to families in the community to help lessen the impact of poverty. By providing childcare, we allow parents to go out and earn a living. We also help mothers develop the right parenting skills for their children, while providing essential healthcare for youngsters, as well as the means to attend school.

For 50 years, SOS Children has helped innumerable Ecuadorian children achieve a decent start in life. As we celebrate a half-century of changing lives, help us continue to offer support to those who need it the most...